LACRIMOSA appeared back in 1990 as a one-man-project of a yet very young Tilo Wolf. He recorded two albums –“Angst” (1991) and “Einsamkeit” (1992) – of which first is most interesting. Its style is melodic darkwave, but after 1992 there has been a change in style – “Satura” can be called neither darkwave nor gothic rock – the music and the atmosphere altered a lot from the first two albums. Starting from 1993 the group begins working as a metal band. It is at this time that Tilo is joined by a keyboard player and vocalist Anne Nurmi. After the release of “Inferno” in 1995 the group receives acclaim. Soon a new single followed – “Stille” - and it became the hardest, looking from the musical point of view. The next studio album - “Elodia” – was released in 1999. It was recorded with the assistance of London Symphonic Orchestra. It was followed by “Fassade”, hard and obscure. And eventually, a couple of years later “Echos” appeared on the shelves and was treated ambiguously ‘cause the group changed the sound and the manner of playing again. A year after that Tilo created a side-project SNAKESKIN and produced a CD under the new trademark. In the winter of 20042005 the official web-site published some information on the new album “Lichtgestalt”, some time later they added a release date (May, 2) and finally they set a tour schedule. Russian fans were left to their disappointment again ‘cause in more than 10 years of productive work, LACRIMOSA never visited Russia. But then, suddenly, there was a casual remark in one of the newsletters that the group is going to Russia, which later received numerous approvals (the concert was organized by label IROND). At first people couldn’t believe it at all, but the tickets were selling out fast and the date of concert was looming on the horizon…
The people living around metro “Bagrationovskaya” are generally used to metalheads and their style but that day they were amazed by the wild style of the fans of gothic music. I must say that the attendants of the show looked remarkable and original. Coupla words about the square in front of the Gorbunov’s Palace. The queue started a long way from the entrance of the building. When I came closer I saw a second queue, a smaller one (5 times smaller in fact). The check-up was easy and finally I’m inside! I entered the hall at 19:20 and hurried to a higher location. The warm-up music was quiet; I could hear SNAKESKIN’s 2004 “Music For The Lost” tracks. The fact that the stage was closed from the observer by a vast vinous drop-curtain interested me most for the time being. The two balconies were already full. The stalls were equally full, except for a couple of seats along the back wall. It’s difficult to tell how many people were present, but even a rough count would certainly show a number greater that 3000. The age of the audience varied from 15 to 50. The first rows were funny to observe. The people there moved left-to-right and vice versa in a wave-like style. I also noticed a lot of fans with large bouquets of flowers in front of the stage.
It’s 19:40 now. The stage is still closed by the curtain. The lights go out, the stage is being illuminated. I can hear a couple of notes in the second octave. Two more seconds and the crowd explodes – everybody recognized the intro song from “Inferno”. Three more seconds and the curtain is raised. The audience is astonished to see the two guitar players and the percussion ready to play with an enormous tapestry with a picture of a harlequin on it in the lilac lighting. The stage is filled with smoke. To my right there is a great two-keyboard synthesizer, covered with velvet cloth. Four more seconds and the keyboard is approached by Anne Nurmi, dressed in a long black dress and a large hat. The intro ends and the second song from the last album – «Kelch Der Liebe» - begins. The beginning takes about a minute, after which the audience finally hears the vocals. In the middle of the first verse the music is muffled with a great welcoming roar of the people, who see Tilo Wolf approaching the microphone in the center of the stage. Many people had astonished eyes – first, they still couldn’t believe it’s really happening, second, I must admit that even I was amazed to hear such a strong voice – it became clear right after the first song that LACRIMOSA must be listened to live! No album reproduces the power and emotional constituent of this voice. The first song ended with an uproar and great ovations. The prelude begins with one of the most famous compositions of the group in history - «Schakal». And on the contrary to the fact that during the first song I could see that some people haven’t heard the last album yet, this was a track perfectly familiar to everybody. The song ends, Tilo says “good evening Moscow” and performs an early «Alles Luge», in the end accompanied by the audience: «alles alles Lьge…». Next comes a change in stage positioning. Anne comes to the middle of the stage and Tilo takes over the keyboards. Another surprise, the voice of Anne is more volumetric and the timbre is much more interesting live. A brilliant song «The Turning Point» from her and she goes back to the synthesizer, while Tilo returns to the center of the platform and carries out the «Malina» from the next to last album. It is closely followed by «Tranen Der Sehnsucht» - a slow and obscure track from the second album, which is mostly “keyboard-based” but is complete with active guitar support. Right after it we hear “Inferno” again and now it is «Vermachtnis Der Sonne». The audience calms down a little only to burst out again during the first song of «Lichtgestalt» - a powerful, heavy and expressive track. The next in line was the prelude of the song I was, frankly speaking, eagerly waiting for myself. It was at the same time the one I couldn’t recognize for a long time, ‘cause this song was associated with organ symphony for me and I completely forgot that «Seele In Not» is performed absolutely differently on live gigs: the sound becomes heavier and in the end of the composition it is sped up as much as possible (the first rows started slamming at that point). In the end Anne and Tilo switch places again and we hear «Apart» from «Echos», smoothly transformed into one of the most beautiful tracks from the last album - «Letzte Ausfahrt: Leben». This is how and hour of this magnificent concert passed. I was again and again amazed with Tilo’s voice, the sound was very good also (the only problems I noticed were with the guitar parts). Tilo constantly received bouquets of flowers, the audience was not only benevolent but ecstatic. Next came the keyboard intro to the «Halt Mich». And if some people didn’t accompany Tilo with «Das Leben brennt mir von der Seele / Die Sehnsucht erfullt mir tapfer ihre Pflicht», absolutely everyone sang «Halt mich - mein Leben - halt mich!». The second verse was sang by the audience only, while Tilo stepped away from the microphone. Last keyboard-vocals reverse (Anne sang «Not Every Pain Hurts») and Tilo performs an English song «The Party Is Over» from the last album. In the beginning of the song Tilo even played on a trumpet. After that every single person in the audience sang along with Tilo from the beginning to the end of every song, you can take my word for that! The main part of the concert ended with «Stolzes Herz», which was warmly met by the crowd. We hear “Good Night” and the band leaves the stage not for long.
The first encore. Tilo approaches the microphone and quietly sings: «So viele Menschen sehen dich». «Der Morgen Danach» was the only composition from the 2001 album «Fassade». Right after it we hear the intro to the next song and the crowd explodes.«Ich Bin Der Brennеnde Komet» - no comment. As I said, the audience accompanied 100% of the time. It was during this song when I first saw a “stage-diver” on this concert. Though he didn’t have a single chance – the security guards made a perfect move. =) Before leaving, the band performed the «Ich Verlasse Heut` Dein Herz» from «Elodia», though the song was roughly cut: about 5 minutes long instead of eight and a half. They leave the stage only to return again.
The second encore. One of the most emotional and beautiful songs from «Elodia» – «Alleine Zu Zweit». After a magnificent duet singing Anne leaves the keyboards and together with Tilo they end the two-hour concert with one of the fastest and heaviest songs of the band - «Copycat», during which Tilo suddenly grabbed the projector from the edge of the stage and enlightened the audience. «What if I break the silence / What if I do forgive the past?» is the last phrase of the concert. Tilo says: “Thank you, Moscow!!!”. The band leaves the stage and the lights turn on.
I cannot find words to tell my impressions, many people couldn’t believe it was going to happen, but it did and it was hilarious. Tilo was in great shape – not only he performed perfectly, he also made tricks with his hands and created perfect harmony on the stage. Couple of words about the people yet “in the shade” – guitarists, bassist and drummer. The bassist was constantly in the front along with one of the guitarists. Periodically, Tilo drew back to let the guitarist play his solos. There even was a traditional hard rock face-to-face guitar play in the end.
It took the audience a long time to leave the concert hall – the faces were stunned in a good way, amazed and at the same happy and joyful. Let’s hope the band will come to Russia on their every tour where we will make most warm welcomes again and again.
•Intro - Lacrimosa Theme
•Kelch Der Liebe
•The Turning Point
•Tranen Der Sehnsucht
•Vermachtnis Der Sonne
•Seele In Not •Apart
•Not Every Pain Hurts
•The Party Is Over
•Der Morgen Danach
•Ich Bin Der Brennende Komet
•Ich Verlasse Heut' Dein Herz
•Alleine Zu Zweit